It rained in Paradise yesterday. Now don’t all fall over at the same time with that news, stupendous as it is. Not only did it rain — it poured much of the day: a record-setting .73″. I can’t remember how long it’s been since it rained enough to do more than dampen the top layer of soil in my flower bed. But yesterday water filled the gutters and at many points during the gloriously soggy day, moved in sheets across the road as the wind whipped the palm trees into a frenzy, fronds no longer sheltering the birds that normally perch there.
The MoH called from work to ask what I was doing. He wondered whether I had popped open the garage door, settled in a chair and bundled in layers to watch the show. He knows I love this weather.
What he struggles with is being practical — as in, too practical. Overly, cautiously so. I have thin streaks of practicality, and depending on the situation, will listen to my inner nagging voice that chastises me I really shouldn’t or better not.
Or, sometimes not listen.
Last night, he and I ventured out in the weather.
We thought we’d have a quick dinner and begin our leisurely search for gift ideas for Christmas. I’ve learned that it doesn’t really do any good to try and get this done earlier in the year, because he likes waiting. He enjoys thinking about it, talking about it, and then going to purchase after he’s found the perfect gift for each person on his list. I like that about him, because although the routine does lend itself to quench his selective need for systemic order, it’s also a little messy around the edges because he waits so long.
But this year, we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I know. It’s a doozie. We were married the day after Christmas, so have always sort of collapsed our acknowledgment of one another into a dinner out in January, or a quick weekend trip before tax season exerts its ugly coils around our free time.
But this is a mile stone. How many people today can not only say that they’ve been married that long, but actually like one another. Look forward to doing things together. Love one another. Act sappy about it.
So over dinner last night, the MoH begins with, “I didn’t want to talk about his last night, so I waited to bring it up until tonight since I knew we’d be out and about.” And I knew what he was going to bring up, because I always know. “I was going to buy you something very expensive for your anniversary,” he continued, and then proceeded to wonder whether I’d prefer something for the house instead, or perhaps a trip somewhere. I could tell he was struggling with the topic and was thinking aloud more than talking with me. The MoH doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. Ever. And although I don’t have that particular problem, I do have that practical voice in me that has been in full scream for the better part of a year now because I cast my former income to the wind to sow the seeds of possibility for our future life. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But still. It has been quite the generous gift to myself and I wallow in it daily, knowing how fortunate I am to have this time.
As I listened to him, I had to be careful. I had to make sure he couldn’t see that ridiculous, tiny piece of the stereotypical girl left inside me after all these years that, no matter how much she doesn’t want or like or have to admit it — wishes for a fairy tale.
And you thought I was Matilda the Hun.
I did too. And I am, most of the time. But I guess not this close to a 20th wedding anniversary.
And the funny thing is, it’s not the “expensive” aspect of the whole thing that I’m interested in. Truly. Unfortunately, lovely things can cost quite a bit of money. They don’t have to, though. Not if one thinks about it for a time, savoring the possibilities.
Right now, I’m not comfortable with the whole “costs a lot of money” part of this. The sprinklers in the flower bed don’t work. The lights on the patio don’t work. My car needs a tune up badly, the carpets need to be torn out and replaced with wood flooring so the MoH can breathe in this house. It needs a fresh coat of paint…there’s annual physicals to pay for, and the RT’s college tuition is just around the corner.
I don’t want to discuss what I want him to give me for our 20th wedding anniversary. “I know you wouldn’t turn down a nice ring if you got one,” he concludes after other possibilities have been pondered. No, I probably wouldn’t, but I’d been attempting to explain to him that the idea of a diamond to signify our time together didn’t quite fit anymore. I use my hands so much and don’t get out amongst the masses. And was the purpose of wearing such a gift to show others? No, that just seemed all wrong. It would be shiny, and throw fiery shards of light against my face, distracting me from mundane tasks, but dust motes wafting in a stuffy room already do that and cost far less.
If the MoH happened to surprise me by capturing one of those motes, enclosing it in a crystal box and then tell me he knew how much I love the idea of a moment suspended in time, I’d sigh knowing he’d thought about that perfect gift, just for me.
See? Fairy tales. Actually, it’s the idea of a fairy tale.
Better than a sharp stick in the eye, as my mother would say. Yes, most things are, Mom.
And it’s especially better than having to ride in a smelly pumpkin to have a guy you’ve never met try and fit a glass shoe on your foot.
I’d have to wear a party dress to do that, and you know how I feel about those.
Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s would be quite romantic. And DVD’s are cheap.